Swvl, Egypt’s Bus booking startup has raised $42 million in Series B-2 co-led by Swedish VC Vostok Ventures and Dubai-based BECO Capital with participation from Endeavor Catalyst to expand across Africa. The firm, which early this year launched in Kenya is looking at Lagos, Nigeria and another city in Africa this year.
Funds that participated in the round include China’s MSA, US-based Endeavor Catalyst, Oman’s OTF Jasoor Ventures, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Kuwait’s Arzan VC, Dubai-based Blustone, San Francisco-based Autotech, and Property Finder’s CEO Michael Lahyani.
Endeavor Catalyst’s investment in SWVL illustrates growing investment momentum in the MENA region. Over the past two years, Endeavor Catalyst has doubled its portfolio in the MENA region and international investors have increasingly turned their attention to the region, with the amount of funding in MENA startups increasing exponentially each year.
Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg sees SWVL and others’ success as evidence of an ecosystem that has no signs of slowing down: “High-impact entrepreneurship is thriving in the MENA region, where founders are really starting to scale, and inspiring others to think big in terms of what they can build. We believe their success is indicative of more growth to come.”
Established in April 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh, SWVL is a mobile technology startup, a private premium alternative to public transportation that enables riders heading in the same direction to share a ride during rush hour. After the huge success of its first market, Egypt, SWVL is on the brink of disrupting travel in Africa one city at a time and recently launched in Nairobi, Kenya with Lagos next in line.
SWVL connects commuters with shared rides with a network of high-quality buses. SWVL runs its own fixed routes spread across the cities and customers gather at specific pick-up spots along the route to be driven to a common drop-off location. This lowers the overall cost of all these commutes and helps in saving time and money for all parties improving the overall system’s efficiency and making the process convenient and affordable to all stakeholders. By reinventing the daily commute, SWVL is appealing to a new generation of tech-savvy commuters as well as providing a social benefit. SWVL comes as a solution to a range of problems on both the demand and supply sides.
SWVL is a revolutionary idea that was born from passion, loyalty and persistence to face all challenges on the table. SWVL is not just a means to facilitate commuting, but a hunger to strive for solutions, encourage the contribution of youth in innovation and inspire change.
The firm recently partnered with Ford for its Ford Transit minibus to be used as its main shuttles.
“We are thrilled to bring Ford Transit to Egypt, debuting in such a prominent and important role through this partnership with SWVL,” said Achraf El Boustani, Managing Director of Ford North Africa. “The key to Ford Transit’s success as a mobility platform is its reputation for dependability, versatility and capability, and we’re confident that SWVL operators here will soon learn just why thousands of people around the world rely on the Ford Transit to get the job done.”
Swvl is facing Uber Bus, Careem Bus and Little Shuttle in this markets. The firm is said to have raised around $100m according to people familiar with the matter. Swvl recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Series B round after raising $8m earlier the same year.